Work-life balance- it is a balance that many people want to find. Particularly when it comes to women in the workplace, this topic has been debated endlessly. But as entry-level employees and students, balance is a crucial part of staying sane. Remember: you can have it all, but not all at once. It is important to understand that our most valuable resource is time, even if we are at the bottom of the food chain.
As I’m sure all of you know, having friends was very beneficial during college. If you are lucky enough to have friends that work in the same industry as you, congratulations. They are great because they are experiencing the same things you are and can relate to you. Also, spend some time with them. Being at work or school is important, but you will be burned out- and quickly- if you do not get some outside interaction. And that means face-to-face stuff, not just via email.
Family is one of the most amazing support systems out there. There are probably few people in the world who believe in you as much as your family does. Try this: When you are feeling down or lost, give them a call, because they will likely be there for you no matter what.
I’ve talked about being well-read before. You must know what is going on in your industry, but it is also important to read for fun. Focusing on a good book or movie provides a necessary distraction. It is important to loose yourself in something once and a while and forget about daily stresses. Plus, you never know how relevant the perspectives of the characters in your book or movie may be to your internship/job or classes.
Finding pleasure in something like photography or drawing or music is great for you. It is also great because it is often something you can bring to the table at work. For instance, it may be fascinating to look at something like competitor analysis from the perspective of a photographer- just imagine what that might allow you to uncover. You may just find another deeper meaning in your competition analysis. Hobbies often allow you to break things down more simply and take a refreshing new perspective in a complicated business world.
Good luck in 2010! If there are any other things that you find keep you balanced, I’d love to hear them.